I’d argue that the Clogherhead Cliff Walk is one of the most overlooked things to do in Louth.
With its wild coastlines and soaring crags, few countries do cliff walks better than Ireland and the Clogherhead Cliff Walk is no exception!
A short and sweet walk with some cracking views of the Cooley and Mourne Mountains, there’s loads to love about this one.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from difficulty level to a couple of warnings. Dive on in!
Some quick need-to-knows about the Clogherhead Cliff Walk
The Clogherhead Cliff Walk isn’t as straightforward as some of the walks in Louth, so it’s well worth taking a minute to read the bullet points below.
Situated in the small fishing village of Clogherhead on County Louth’s southeast coast, Clogherhead is A 15-minute drive from Drogheda, a 30-minute drive from Dundalk and a 45-minute drive from Dublin Airport.
Head down to the end of Harbour Road and you’ll see the main car park for the harbour (here on Google Maps). It’s also conveniently right next to the start point of the cliff walk so you won’t have to walk too far!
This is a simple walk that should be fairly straightforward for people of all fitness levels to enjoy. The only thing we’d say is to be wary of is the wind (perhaps give the walk a miss if there are particularly strong gusts).
4. How long it takes
If you walk from the car park and head up to the lookout point, it’ll take 30 minutes or so. If you mosey on down to Clogherhead Beach after, allow at least an hour. There’s a longer loop that takes you back along narrow roads and into the Harbour which takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The trail here can get extremely muddy at times, so wear decent walking shoes/boots if there’s been heavy rainfall recently. Also, if you do the long loop (see map below) be extremely careful when walking the roads back to the car park as there’s a lot of blind spots.
About the Clogherhead Cliff Walk
The Cliff Walk takes place on the Clogherhead headland, a high rocky outcrop on the south Louth coast that gives a unique vantage point for seeing the coastline in both directions. In fact, it’s the only high headland of note between the Mourne Mountains and the Howth Peninsula in Dublin!
The Clogherhead headland is also listed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty because it supports rare coastal heathland vegetation, which you’ll see as you make your way around. The jagged rocks below give way to lush grassy areas above and the colours contrast beautifully with the blue of the sea on sunny days.
An overview of the short Clogherhead Cliff Walk
The Clogherhead Cliff Walk is one of those trails that hasn’t anywhere near the recognition that it deserves.
The sea and cliff views it boasts are unrivalled by many similar walks in Ireland, with the exception of maybe the Howth Cliff Walk in Dublin.
Starting the walk
When you hop out of the car you’ll see the start point for the Clogherhead Cliff Walk easily enough – just walk uphill through the car park and keep an eye out for the gap in the wall.
Now, unlike many cliff walks, the trail here is pretty undefined. For the most part, you’ll find yourself following the sights and sounds that pique your interest.
Keep an eye out for
Soon after you walk through the gap in the wall, you’ll see some large stones over on your left, with some excellent vantage points to sit and admire the Mournes from afar.
When you’re finished there, follow the mossy grass upwards towards the lookout point. You’ll need to make your way through some thick bushes here, but there’s a well-defined path to follow.
When you reach the top (it’s an easy climb and takes 5 minutes max), you’ll be treated to breath-taking views of the ocean and the surrounding countryside.
Three options to choose from
There are several options for where you go from here – you can head back the way you came or you can continue down onto Clogherhead Beach and grab a coffee or a bite to eat.
Or you can do the long loop, which comes with numerous warnings (see below).
An overview of the long Clogherhead Cliff Walk
So, the longer version of the Clogherhead Cliff Walk follows much of the same trail as the short loop, however, when you reach the beach you follow the roads back to the car park.
If you zoom in on the map above you’ll see a rough outline of the trail to follow. Please, please, please use the utmost caution when walking the roads back to the car park.
These roads are narrow, there’s no path and they’re busy, so care is required at all times.
Places to visit near Clogherhead
One of the beauties of the Clogherhead Cliff Walk is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Louth.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from Clogherhead (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Beaches galore (5 minutes +)
There’s a fair few fine beaches in this area so why not sample a few? If you’re here for the weekend and have a car then you’ll only be a few minutes from the cracking local beaches such as Templetown Beach, Port Beach, Termonfeckin Beach and Blackrock Beach.
2. The Boyne Valley Drive (15-minute drive)
From the megalithic tombs of Newgrange to Medieval ruins like Mellifont Abbey, The Boyne Valley Drive covers some serious sights in a short amount of time! Set off from the lively town of Drogheda and take a tour of some of the most important sites in Irish history.
3. Bru Na Boinne (30-minute drive)
Want to see some serious history? A 30-minute drive southwest of Clogherhead, Brú na Bóinne is a prehistoric landscape containing extraordinary structures dating back around 5,000 years! It’s also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013 and features the famous Newgrange.
4. The Cooley Peninsula (35-minute drive)
One of the most beautiful (and overlooked) parts of Ireland, there’s a ton of fantastic experiences to get your teeth stuck into at the Cooley Peninsula. With beautiful hikes, ancient sites, colourful towns and opportunities for cycling and boating, the Cooley Peninsula is a gem of the east coast. Try to dedicate a solid amount of time to this one, if possible!
FAQs about the Clogherhead Cliff Walk
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is it buggy friendly?’ (it’s not) to ‘Do you start from the beach of Harbour side?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
How long is the Clogherhead Cliff Walk?
This will depend on the route (see above): the short trail will take you about 30 minutes while the longer loop takes the guts of 1.5 hours.
Where do you park for the Clogherhead walk?
If you start it from the ‘main’ starting point, you park in the big car park next to the harbour (see guide above for it’s location on Google Maps).